Saturday, March 12, 2011

Were The Jaredites All Annihilated or Were There Survivors? Part II

After all the destruction in the land among the Jaredites, and after all the death on both sides of the battle line—a number of dead equaling some 6 to 8 million at this time, Coriantumr remembered Ether's prophesy (Ether 15:3). Evidently feeling somewhat guilty for all his evil doings, and wanting to reconcile himself to some degree, he wrote an epistle to his antagonist, Shiz, the leader of the other half of the Jaredites. However, Shiz refuses, and another series of running battles ensues (Ether 14:5-10).

Finally, the two opposing armies make camp and prepare for a final, last battle in which they spend four years (Ether 15:14) gathering "together all the people upon all the face of the land, who had not been slain, save it was Ether" (Ether 15:12). Then, after they were "all gathered together, every one” to both these vast armies, including "both men, women and children being armed with weapons of war” (Ether 15:15) from "all the face of the land" (Ether 15:14), they began the last battle of the Jaredite nation.

In this first engagement, they fought all day and then the next. So great was the death and carnage, that Coriantumr once again wrote to Shiz, but he refused to end the war. They again took up the battle, which lasted three more days, and after this fifth full day of fighting, all had perished except for 52 of Coriantumr’s people, and 69 of Shiz’ people. The following day they fought again with all their might and at the close of the day there were but 27 left for Coriantumr and 32 for Shiz. These were “large and mighty men” as compared to the strength of men and on the following day—the sixth straight day of hand-to-hand combat with swords and shields (Ether 15:24), and after three hours of battle, Coriantumr and his remaining men fled (Ether 15:28), and the next day the two remaining groups fought again until only Coriantumr and Shiz remained alive (Ether 15:29). Finally, Coriantumr rose up and cut off the head of Shiz (Ether 15:30).

Now it would seem that such a detailed account of this great battle should suggest its vast importance, and since we are dealing with spiritual matters, the purpose of it seems clear. When all this had taken place, and all the Jaredites were killed save Coriantumr, the Lord said to Ether, “Go forth. And he went forth forth, and beheld that the words of the Lord had all been fulfilled” (Ether 15:33).

And what were those words? That all the Jaredites would be killed except for Coriantumr if he did not repent of his evil ways (Ether 13:21). Obviously, the Lord’s prediction came to pass as He said it would. This entire section is for this single purpose, to show the results of a people and of men who disobey the Lord and that His predictions will come to pass if men do not repent and change their ways. If this was only meant to demonstrate the Lord’s dealings with a small part of a people, then the entire event is meaningless, for all know that men meet their just due. But for an entire nation of 12 to 15 million people to die unnecessarily as a result of denying their God, that is a meaningful event and one the Lord had Either illustrate in his writing.

It is important for us to note the wordage Ether used: “all the land,” “upon the face of the whole earth,” “every soul destroyed,” “throughout all the face of the land,” ”upon all the face of the land,” “the whole face of the land,” ”gathered together all the people upon all the face of the land,” “all who were on the face of the land,” “they were all gathered together, with their wives and children,” “they had all fallen by the sword, save it were 52,” “they had all fallen by the sword, save it were Coriantumr and Shiz,” “the words of the Lord had all been fulfilled.”

A thorough reading of Chapters 13 through 15 of Ether makes it clear that all the Jaredites were destroyed—every one except for Coriantumr and Ether. Obviously, there were no more Jaredites—and Ether’s job as prophet to his people was finished. There were none left to whom he could prophesy the word of the Lord. And, thus, Ether’s record draws to a close. There is no mystery about this—the Jaredites were gone, annihilated as a people to the last individual except for Coriantumr, just as the Lord had told Ether.

(See the next post, “Were The Jaredites All Annihilated or Were There Survivors? Part III,” to see how Mesoamerican theorists deny the scriptures)

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